Discussion points: Paredes, Maver defend the convert | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
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Stampeders.com Staff

CALGARY -- Suddenly, the lowly extra point is a hot topic of conversation.

The conversion conversation was ignited south of the border when National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell recently said his league was considering eliminating the point-after-touchdown.

It turns out the matter has already been mulled over by Canadian Football League decision-makers.

“Our rules committee discussed the idea of eliminating or altering the convert several years ago and as recently as last year,” newly appointed CFL vice-president of officiating Glen Johnson told the Toronto Star this week.

“We plan on continuing to explore this idea, but no change is imminent.”

The “no change is imminent” part is good news to the Stampeders who use their feet to earn a living.

“I think eliminating the extra point is a bad idea,” said placekicker Rene Paredes, who led the CFL in scoring in 2013 — including 49 conversions — and was the league’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.

“I’m trying to look at it not just as a kicker,” he said. “The extra point is how football has always been played. When you think about how long it’s been a part of the game, why change it?

“Then, if I do look at the situation strictly as a kicker — or as a specialist, as Chevy (long-snapper Randy Chevrier) would say — the extra point is 30 per cent of what we do. We don’t want that taken away from us.”

Punter Rob Maver, who was a kicker in university and during his rookie CFL season, was so fired up by the suggestion extra points should be eliminated that he took the time and trouble to sit down and draw up a list of counter-arguments.

“They’re saying it’s an automatic play,” said Maver. “So if they start eliminating extra points, what’s next? Kneeldowns at the end of the game? The exchange between centre and quarterback?

“And it’s not really that automatic. If you have a game riding on a short field goal or an extra point — ask the long snapper or the holder or anybody blocking how automatic it is to try and hold off a 300-pound guy who’s trying to block the kick.”

Maver’s checklist also includes the following points:

* The extra point is a microcosm of the importance of execution in football

* Eliminating the extra point means the disappearance of the strategy of going for the two-point convert late in the game

* Faking a one-point convert and going for two will no longer be possible

* The loss of the extra points at the grassroots would cost young kickers opportunities to develop and hone their technique and would ultimately lead to a decline in the quality of kickers at higher levels. “It would be a trickle-up effect,” said Maver

* At the pro level, not having the opportunity to kick extra points would negatively affect field-goal accuracy. “Extra points are a lower-pressure live reps within the game. It’s a chance for the kicker to get his rhythm,” explains Maver.Supporters of the extra point suggest talk about eliminating the play is a dangerous precedent of unnecessary tinkering.

“If it starts here,” said Maver, “where does it end?”

In some ways, kickers have become the victims of their own success. Only a couple of extra points are missed in any given season and the percentage for field-goal kicking has continually climbed, with Paredes setting a new CFL single-season record of 94.7 per cent in 2013.

“As a specialist, you’re striving for perfection and now it seems you’d be being punished for trying to achieve it,” said Paredes.

And when the so-called automatic extra point goes awry, the consequences can be dramatic. And memorable.

Maver points to the 2000 Orange Bowl, where Michigan beat Alabama in overtime because of missed extra point by the Crimson Tide.

In 2003, the New Orleans scored an improbable touchdown with multiple laterals on the last play of the game, only to lose by a point — and get eliminated from the playoffs — when the extra point was missed.

Closer to home, a blocked extra point by Keon Raymond in the 2012 Western Semi-Final at McMahon Stadium helped the Stamps knock off the Roughriders. Instead of Saskatchewan taking a 17-14 lead, Fred Bennett took the loose ball the other way for two points that tied the game at 16-16.

Calgary then took the ball on the ensuing kickoff and moved into position for a go-ahead 50-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

“That completely turned the momentum around,” said Paredes of the extra-point block. “It was such a huge play and it played a big part in allowing us to win that day.”

“I just hope they leave the extra point alone,” said Maver. “It’s not hurting anyone, is it? The whole idea is just outrageous.”

Fan Comments
I agree with the comments, totally. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
January 28, 2014 - 9:32am
Orange & Black
Leave the single point point convert alone. If the CFL has to mess with the current rules to be happy, take out the single point for a missed field goal. Why should a team be rewarded for missing a field goal? That's one rule where the NFL has it right.
January 27, 2014 - 5:28pm
The single point after missing a field goal isn't a "reward for failure" as critics keep complaining. It's a reward for kicking the ball into the end zone/over the end zone line. It's a holdover from rugby, where the game originated. It deserves to stay just as much as the single point. It adds excitement to the game, particularly on a missed field goal and the decision is made in a close game whether or not to run it out of the end zone or not. More ways to score mean more options, more tension, more excitement.
January 27, 2014 - 9:13pm
I agree....I hate it when people say you get a point for missing a field goal when that is simply not the case....
If the ball hits the upright, you missed but no point!
If the ball is returned out of the endzone, you missed but no point.

The only reward for failure in sports is Hockey where you get a point for losing in Overtime ( yeah yeah yeah, you get it for being tied at the end of reg time but in the end you lost...you got a point)
January 28, 2014 - 6:47am
DO NOT remove the Single PAT attempt
Simply make it slightly less automatic to go for the single, like a very easy change, make it so the PAT is from the hashmarks and not Center field. Not a big change and won't affect the success rate greatly, but if it takes it from 99.99% to 95% then that is all that's needed.

After doing that, another easy option, instead of removing the single PAT, make the 2 point PAT worth 3, give coaches a great incentive to take a risk and run/throw the ball in, instead of the easy 1.

Just like do not remove the rouge, just make a slight change the a single on a punt/FG is only scored should the ball bounce out or be conceded, instead of if the ball is kicked into the 5th row. the single is to give some encouragement for team to return the ball, you don't get a single for hitting the uprights, so no point for kicking it out of bounds(in air) either.
January 26, 2014 - 8:16am
Leave the single and the rouge alone
Change for the sake of change is just stupid
We have the greatest game in the world as it is
January 25, 2014 - 8:00pm
als rule
agree with all those who posted comments except AEF!! leave my ROUGE alone on a punt and missed FG!! I still can't accept the CFL's bizarre OT system and it's mandatory 2 point conversion!! LEAVE THE GAME ALONE!!
January 25, 2014 - 6:30pm
Interesting to see how the kickers feel about this topic even if they could be considered less than objective! I agree with them - leave the extra point alone.
January 25, 2014 - 1:22pm
GC Bound
I should also add, this kind of "Fair Catch" mentality served out in the NFL just stagnates the game; Why kick the dam ball at all???
Football rule: you kick the ball, you catch the ball and you run with it!!!
January 25, 2014 - 1:01pm
als rule
@GCB: excellent point!!
January 25, 2014 - 5:53pm
GC Bound
ABSOLUTELY, Stupid idea!! and who cares what they discuss or adopt in the NFL
As was said, the "single point after" has been since first played as is now, an intricate part of the game.
Let's just illuminate the 'Field Goal' too. Geeeez
Go Riders GO
January 25, 2014 - 12:38pm
als rule
@GCB: GEEEEZ!! the way things are going with all this silly talk about changing the way the game is played THE QUESTION THAT REMAINS is why are we even bothering 2 play the game!!
January 25, 2014 - 9:32pm